Eid Mubarak!

October 25, 2012 Leave a comment

 

الله أَكْبَر الله اكبر لا اله الا الله والله اكبر الله اكبر ولله الحمد

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, La Ilaha Illallahu, Wallahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar wa lillahilhamd.

There is no God but Allah and Allah is great, Al­lah is great and to Allah belongs all praise.

Please see Mufti Taqi Usmani’s “Islamic Months”

Advertisements
Tags:

Midnight Talk # 3

October 12, 2012 2 comments

Sister Amina Tirmizi was kind enough to send me these notes she took of Shaykh Husain Abdul Sattar’s itikaf talks. Masha’Allah they’re excellent notes, I will put up the rest soon.

Listen Here: “Midnight Talk #3” by Shaykh Husain Abdul Sattar

The way to attract the love of your Lord is through the Sunnah (the way of the Prophet). The believers recognize that they and their Lord are incomparable. Allah is majestic, humans are weak. Allah is rich, humans are poor. The interface in which human beings can connect with their Lord (need interfaces to connect to incompatible things, ie. need an adapter to plug in to use something abroad) is the interface of Rasoolallah صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم. The sunnah creates the opportunity for love of Allah, “qul in kuntum tuhibullah, fatabiuni, yuhbibukumullah.” We are physically and spiritually impure. How can we attract the attention of Allah despite our deficiencies? Allah loved the Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم  and if we begin to mimic him, then that sunnah attracts the attention of Allah and makes us capable of being loved by him. The sunnah is the mechanism to attain the love of Allahسبحانه و تعالى .

Imagine you are someone who wants to beautify yourself,you look through your jewelry box and you put on diamonds, pearls, and rubies, because you know they will attract attention. In the same way, each sunnah is like a diamond or a pearl. Each one is its own magnet and attracts Allah in its own way.

Nabi  صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم left a very small footprint in this world, he used to wear worn-out clothing with patches on it, days would go by where he wouldn’t eat, fire did not burn in his house for months etc. This was our Nabi’s interaction with the world. Remember:

  • Allah سبحانه و تعالى‎ owns the planet and the entire universe and if we use anything we should recognize that we are taking from his dominion. This means we should use according to necessity and not waste anything. We are travelers on a journey.
  • The companions of Nabi صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم used to think, “This is a place to give, and that is a place to take” (the world is a place where you take little and give a -lot, the hereafter is the place where you truly take). Hadrat Umar رضي الله عنه was given a cold cup of water and he wept thinking that maybe something in his next life would diminish if he took it. It’s like checking in to a hotel, you check in in 1973 and check out at 2020.
  • The goal is to take less here so we can take more there. We should take the wealth we have and feed others, use our time and strength to serve others, make sure everyone’s needs are filled before our desires are fed. We should plant seeds here, and reap our harvest in the hereafter.
  • Seek every opportunity to be in the service of Allah’s creation. Alleviating a difficulty of someone freezes us from the hellfire. Don’t you think we will be compared with the person who died of starvation? How can we fill our stomachs when other people are hungry? The way of the Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم is to take what you need (what is minimal) and make sure everyone else receives what they need.

May Allah make us amongst those who embed the sunnah in our lives, may He grant us abundance in our health and wealth so we can serve others with it.

The Tricks of Shaytaan

September 13, 2012 Leave a comment

Listen Here: The Tricks of Shaytaan (Devil) and How to be Safe  by Shaykh Omar Hussaini

I thought it would be a good idea to do this lecture since Shaytaan has been roaming free ever since Eid. It gets a little tough in Ramadan though, realizing that it’s actually your Nafs that loves to play games…

The Main Tricky Tricks:

  • Shaytaan tries to trick us into believing that we don’t have to preform any supererogatory good deeds. If you try to wake up for Tahajjud, Shaytaan will whisper that you always pray the mandated prayers and that there’s no need for more: you have work in the morning!
    • How to be safe: Anytime you want to buy some commodity, you need currency. Remind yourself that you need the currency of good deeds to attain Paradise. You cannot get it for free. Everything we do is part of our effort to earn Jannah, that is our full time job.
  • He tries to make you procrastinate. He makes you think that you will have more time tomorrow. But in reality, your busyness changesbut never ends (i.e I will do this or that when I get out of college, but then you have a stressful job and kids taking up your time). You will never be completely free, something will always come up.
    • How to be safe: You never know if you will live to see another day. People think they have time, but how many people do you know that died in their youth? Anything can happen, you cannot leave your Jannah to chance by living in the delusion of eternal time.
  • He tells you to rush salah so you can get to your other duties. Even though salah can’t be much prolonged, Shaytaan gets you to finish it in as few minutes as possible.
    • How to be safe: Realize that worrying and being in a hurry will never get you anywhere. The deen emphasizes controlled and conscious acts of worship. To Allah سبحانه و تعالى‎, a few quality actions are better than a lot of actions done without any quality.
  • You do something initially for Allah سبحانه و تعالى‎ but right after it, you get the urge to share it with others. The Shaytaan convinces you tell others so they can “benefit.” Sometimes you do sincerely want to benefit others by detailing some aspect of worship, like when trying to rub off on children. However…
    • How to be safe: If there is some sort of inner debate in your mind as to your intentions for sharing, then all your hard work likely went down the drain. Remember to keep the reward with Allah. The One who should know about your deeds, already knows.
  • You hide your good deeds hoping someone will find out later.
    • How to be safe: This is similar to the last one in the sense that you are doing things for people. Remind yourself that people can’t give you anything. Seek reward with the Creator, not the creation.
  • Once you start becoming somewhat religious, Shaytaan puts the seed of arrogance in your heart by highlighting all the people who are not doing everything you’re doing.
    • How to be safe: When you meet someone and you immediately think yourself better: know that Shaytaan is creeping in your heart. Once you realize that any righteousness you have comes from Allah سبحانه و تعالى‎, you will never be arrogant. We have no greatness in ourselves.
  • The last tricky trick of Shaytaan is that he manipulates the concept of destiny and oversimplifies it so that you begin to think, “What’s the point?” He makes you think that your actions don’t matter and that you cannot control where you end up.
    • How to be safe: Even if that were true, a person destined for hellfire would only benefit from good deeds and one destined for paradise would be hurt by bad deeds. Recognize that Allah has given us free will, his knowledge of events does not compel us to act in a certain way. And Allah سبحانه و تعالى‎ is just. He does not do anything except what is just. He is even looking for excuses to put us in paradise.

Tags: , ,

Repentance and Laylatul Qadr

August 15, 2012 Leave a comment

Listen Here:Repentance and Laylatul Qadr” by Shaykh Zulfiqar Ahmad

Ramadan is going by so fast, tonight is already the 27th! It is the second to last night odd night, so it might be Laylatul Qadr (The Night of Power). Accordingly, here are some quick notes on a talk about Laylatul Qadr by Shaykh Zulfiqar Ahmad. It actually goes well (yes, certain talks go well together like biryani and raitha) with a recent talk by Shaykh Omar Hussaini called The Importance of Working Hard and Keeping Busy because he energizes you and motivates you to work hard, which is especially key in the last couple of days of Ramadan.

In the first half of this lecture, Shaykh Zulfiqar highlights the parts of the Quran in which Allah سبحانه و تعالى‎ establishes himself as forgiving. Allah سبحانه و تعالى‎ is the Most Forgiving, he loves to forgive. We should spend the nights of Laylatul Qadr in deep repentance. However, achieving forgiveness has conditions:

  • The person should be ashamed and regret his sin.
  • The person should not engage in that sin again even though he his capable of it.
  • The person rids himself of that sin for the sake of Allah سبحانه و تعالى‎ (someone may seek forgiveness for gambling after losing a ton of money, but his aim is not Allah, he is just afraid of losing wealth)
  • If the person has done something against another, he should first seek forgiveness from that person (if you engaged in backbiting, it is not proper to tell the person what you said about him, rather ask forgiveness in generalities: “Please forgive me for my mistakes”).
  • The person should perform good deeds similar to the sins he committed (If he used to drink alcohol, he should spend extra time providing water to the thirsty. If he used to hurt others, he should spend time making them happy).

The Importance of Ramadan

August 1, 2012 Leave a comment

Listen Here:Ehmiyat-e-Ramadan” by Shaykh Zulfiqar Ahmad

Ok, so I haven’t attained consistency. It’s a work in progress. But I will be putting up notes on different Ramadan related talks this month insha’Allah. This is a talk by Shaykh Zulfiqar Ahmad in which he discusses Ramadan and the Quran.

Someone recites a wonderful nasheed in the beginning of the talk, here are some lines (poorly translated):

Sari dunya mein asa nazara nahin,                        There is nothing in the world like this,

Asa manzar zamanay mein dekha nahin,               The ages haven’t seen anything,

Jaisay manzar Madinay main moujud hai.               Like the scene in Madinah.

Hai nazar main jamal-e-habib-e-Khuda,                 The beloved of Allah is in sight,

Jiski tasveer seenay main moujud hai.                   The one whose picture is within my heart.

Ramadan is the month of patience, the month of forgiveness, and it is also the month of Quran. It is the month in which the Quran was revealed. Our fasts and the Quran have a strong connection; both will stand as intercessors on our behalf on the Day of Judgment. The Quran should be recited as much as possible throughout this month.

It was normal for the pious predecessors to read at least one full Quran (usually more) e v e r y d a y. It might sound unusual to us because we have never interacted with such people but they existed. It was easy for them because of their righteousness. The person who has loads of sins on his head will find it very hard to even read one page of Quran. The similitude of this person is like one who has an illness. A person with a fever will not be able to walk around, do work, or even eat. If that same person is healthy, then everything will be easy for him. In the same way, a person who is spiritually ill will find it hard to do spiritual works.

“Salah is heavy for those who lack khushu (presence of heart)”.  

We should pray to Allah to be among those who love the Quran, who love to read the Quran, who love to hear the Quran, who are impacted and changed by the Quran. The pious predecessors would fall in prostration crying upon hearing the Quran. When have we last fallen in prostration from the words of the Quran, much less in tears? Aisha رضي الله عنه reported that she saw the tears of the Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم fall to the floor while reciting the Quran. We have made our hearts so hard that hearing Allah’s words doesn’t induce tears. We have to sincerely request Allah سبحانه و تعالى to soften our hearts, we have to repent for our sins, and consistently do Istaghfar, do good works, and seek His mercy.

We should aim to make the Quran very close to our hearts this Ramadan, so much so that its recitation is the joy of our day.

“If someone wants to know how close he is to his Lord, let him find out how close he is to the Quran.”

My thoughts: Need to learn Arabic. It is essential in developing a lasting relationship with the Quran.

Tags: , ,

Preparation and Progress

June 14, 2012 1 comment

As part of my efforts to attain consistency, readers can now expect to find at least three posts per month, a post in the beginning, middle, and end of the month inshaAllah.

The following two lectures go very well together because one deals with preparation while the other discusses progress. I happened to listen to them one after the other and the combinations of the two had an extremely strong impact on my daily actions…

Listen Here: The Power of Preparing by Shaykh Husain Abdul Sattar

Preparation is the key to progress in the deen.

There are two types of people:

  • One person will come late to the masjid and leave fast. He will gain minimal benefit because of his lack of preparation.
  • The other person sees salah as an event and goes to the masjid having prayed the sunnah. He does dhikr on the way and prepares his heart. This process maximizes his benefit.

This applies to everything in the deen, to Ramadan, to Hajj etc. (Ramadan can meet you, or you can meet Ramadan). This applies to everything in the dunya as well. Preparation is what distinguishes people and their progress.

Always be prepared for the big event that is salah.

Listen Here: Dhikr: an Indispensable Tool for Progress by Shaykh Omar Hussaini

Dhikr prepares the heart. It is the light that cleanses the soul. Many students try to progress in the deen. They have their hands in various activities but fail to take time out for the dhikr of Allah سبحانه و تعالى‎ which makes their spiritual progress stagnate.

Beautiful Points:

  • The word “bored” should not be in the vocabulary of a Muslim, “When the dhikr of Allah is there, how dare you say you’re bored?”
  • If it is possible to be engrossed in the dunya, then undoubtedly there is state of obsession in the remembrance of Allah.
  • The similitude of one who remembers Allah and one who does not is the similitude of the one who is alive and the one who is dead (hadith).
  • What lover is there that does not remember his beloved?

Put in at least an hour of dhikr. You have to dedicate serious time in order to progress in anything in the dunya as well as in the deen.

Getting Rid of Laziness

May 5, 2012 Leave a comment

Listen Here: “Getting Rid of Laziness” by Shaykh Omar Hussaini

I found out about Shaykh Omar Hussaini a few months ago, and the one thing I can unequivocally say is that he can read my mind. I’ll be listening to a lecture and I’ll think of something that I tend to do which hasn’t been addressed and less than five minutes later, there it will be (ex: He was advising to get rid of the internet and the whole time I was thinking “What about my research papers?” Then he was like “For those students worried about their research papers…”)

On to a much need lecture… Getting Rid of Laziness!

Shaykh Hussaini started the talk by describing the ways in which people desire comfort. People often aspire to be in a state where they don’t have to work too hard. They want to take things easy. However, if you want to have a high status in the hereafter, then you have to strike the word easy from your mind. You have to work hard, and there is great pleasure in working hard. People have this misconception that when they have nothing to do/no responsibilities, they will be happy. Having nothing to do is actually very torturous. Who are the people in society who have nothing to do and no responsibilities? Prisoners.

The Prophet  صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم used to seek refuge from laziness and sloth.

When people become accustomed to sloth, society starts to lose respect for them and they start to lose respect for themselves. If you are part of a system and you’re taking advantage of it, then you’re taking a toll on that system. Muslims are not supposed to be takers, they are meant to be givers.

Hard work is a haven that prevents you from engaging in sin. You should be so tired by the end of the day that you fall asleep before your head hits the pillow. This is a blessing from Allah سبحانه و تعالى.

We have to be very careful about laziness. When a person is too lazy to do anything, he does nothing. There won’t be any progress and everything will be a chore (praying salah and reading the Quran become chores).

You should always have a fire and passion in your heart. There are many people who want this passion but don’t know how to get rid of their laziness. Here are two ways:

  1. Try to find enjoyment: It’s easy to be passionate and enjoy something when you’re interested in it. We have to start enjoying the deen. Everyone knows there is a pleasure and “sweetness” in th e deen. The way to attain that sweetness is by avoiding sin. The more you avoid sin the more you will enjoy the deen. It’s a reciprocal relationship.
  2. Erase the idea within yourself that you have a lot of time: People always think that they’ll have time. They want to go out with friends and have a “good time.” They have these “long hopes” but this misleading idea will come crashing down one day. The person who thinks that he is breathing one breath right now and expects to breathe the next is sinful because he is passing judgement on the unseen. Even if you hope to do good deeds, you never know when your time will run out. Instead of having long hopes, you should make the right intentions with the understanding that only Allah سبحانه و تعالى‎ can make it true if He so wills.

Whoever fears the warning of Allah, that which is far becomes close.   Whosoever has long hopes, his actions become bad. (Arabic poem)

Long hopes make a person forget the next life. They create a sense within you that you have all the time in the world and that death is far away. Make the most of every moment and remember death often.

May Allah سبحانه و تعالى prevent us from being among the lazy and give us pleasure in our work and give us the passion, drive, and focus to make us successful in this life and the next. Ameen.

Tags: ,